What is the Difference Between a  .au and .com Domain?

Published: April 03, 2022

Australian Country-Code Top-Level Domains

There are so many domain name variations that choosing the right option can be daunting. With the introduction of .au domains on 24 March, 2022 there are now seven Australian country-code top-level domains (ccTLDs) to choose from: .com.au, .net.au, .org.au, .id.au, .gov.au, .edu.au and .au.


Using an Australian ccTLD domain over an international domain (such as .com) quickly signifies that your business is officially registered in Australia. There are a few key benefits to displaying the origin of your business:


  • Search engines consider geolocation when pairing a user with a search query. This means that an Australian searcher is more likely to see an Australian website over an international website when searching for a product or service.​
  • Visitors will quickly know that your website is Australian and that it is an officially registered and legitimate business.

How is a .au Domain Different from a .com.au domain?

The key difference between a .com.au and .au domain is purely the length-it’s short, concise and easy to remember. As a result, a .au domain is little better than a .com.au.

What Do I Need to Register a .au Domain?

Until September 20, 2022, businesses with a .com.au domain are able to apply for a priority reservation of the matching .au domain. This initiative prevents third parties from squatting on company domains. Learn more here.

*Priority Allocation Process

Until September 20, 2022, businesses with a .com.au domain are able to apply for a priority reservation of the matching .au domain. This initiative prevents third parties from squatting on company domains. Learn more here.

Should I Get a .com or .au Domain?

Ideally, you should get both.


If your business is domestic, then you should use an Australian domain as your primary domain. This will quickly build trust in your clients (anyone can own a .com domain), while a .au domain provides the shortest possible URL to enter.


On the contrary, if your business is international, then you should stick with the .com domain. An Australian domain may give international customers the impression that they are either on the wrong version of your website, or that your business may not be able to service them.
Domain names are very affordable, and if the options are available, you should register them all, and direct them to your primary domain. Doing so can:


  • Prevent competitors from buying similar domains to you
  • Direct users entering the wrong domain to your website
  • Ensure that you have all alternative domains for future website expansions and options

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